There were 152 mergers and acquisitions of food processors last year, according to the Food Institute’s Food Business Mergers & Acquisitions report. That represents a 19.4% decrease from 2017.

Meanwhile, food industry retail M&A increased almost 40% and restaurant M&A stayed about the same. Overall, the industry saw 527 total deals, a decrease of about 11%.

In 2017, deal activity reached a 15-year high. However, the deals weren’t huge. Food Processing pointed out that most acquisitions were big companies purchasing smaller niche ones, and there were no eight-figure deals.

In 2018, that trend reversed. At $10.9 billion, Conagra’s purchase of Pinnacle Foods was one of the food industry’s biggest deals of all time, while on the grocery side, Sainsbury acquired Asda for $10 billion.

Here’s the breakdown of deals by state and city.


  1. California (44)
  2. Illinois (28)
  3. Texas (21)
  4. New York (19)
  5. Colorado (15)
  6. Wisconsin (15)


  1. Chicago (12)
  2. New York (11)
  3. Los Angeles (7)
  4. San Francisco (6)
  5. Denver (5)
  6. Minneapolis (5)